Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dad who assaulted 3-month-old daughter in 2005 now a father again (Christchurch, New Zealand)

This case has disaster written all over it. I can't tell you how many articles I have posted of dads who have abused a baby from an earlier relationship, did a little time in prison, found some trusting, utterly naive young woman, then DID THE SAME THING ALL OVER AGAIN with the next baby.

Right off the top of my head, here's an example from Virginia:

And from Kansas:

In this case we have dad CHRISTOPHER DEAN MATTHEWS, who was jailed last June for assaulting his 3-month-old daughter in 2005. That baby has "significant permanent brain damage" as a result.

Guess Daddy was a busy little boy between 2005 and June 2009, because now he has a new son born in November 2009 to his new girlfriend. Dad will be eligible for parole in May 2010, and until then, Mom has been busy toting the baby back and forth to prison so he can bond with Daddy. She's not sure if Daddy will be able to live with them after he gets out. I sure the hell hope he's not.

If you're a prayin' type person, start praying for this baby NOW. He's gonna need all the help he can get. Between the daddy with the "short fuse" and the rather dense mother, prospects are not looking very rosy for this child. Short of calling Western Union, how do you get a message through to this woman?

But it's not entirely Mom's doing. Look at the excuses the Judge and the nurse make for Dad's behavior. He's not being made accountable for ANYTHING. The baby's ongoing medical problems from the brain injury? Not Daddy's fault. We're assured that Daddy's really "caring and concerned," despite all the solid medical and forensic evidence to the contrary. When you see professionals who consistently make excuses for abusive fathers, and minimize their responsibility for their actions, it makes it difficult for mothers to object to a father's contact with a child without being labeled "uncooperative" or "alienating."

Man Who Hurt Baby A Father Again

Wednesday, 13 January, 2010 - 20:06 Wellington, Jan 13 NZPA - A Christchurch man jailed for causing grievous bodily harm to his baby daughter has fathered another child.

Former New Zealand indoor bowls champion Christopher Dean Matthews' son was born in late November, The Star newspaper reported.

Matthews, 32, was jailed last June for two years and nine months after pleading guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard for safety and one charge of assault on his three-month-old daughter, Caitlyn, in 2005.

He had shaken the baby, who was left with brain damage and is now cared for by his parents, Bevan and Kay Matthews, The Star reported.

The mother of the new baby, Matthews' partner Keri Hanifin, 29, told the newspaper she had taken the baby to see him in prison.

She was unsure whether she and Matthews and their child would be able to live together as a family when he was released.

He was thought to be eligible for parole in May.

When sentencing Matthews, Judge Garry MacAskill said Caitlyn was admitted to hospital with seizures when she was gravely ill.

She was sent to Auckland's Starship Hospital with chronic subdural haemorrhages on both sides of her brain, and retinal haemorrhage.

She stopped breathing for a time, and now had significant permanent brain damage.

Judge MacAskill said it had not been proven who was responsible for the permanent damage, and Matthews could not be held accountable for her ongoing suffering.

He said there was an abuse of trust and vulnerability because of Caitlyn's age.

Crown prosecutor Kerryn Beaton said there were at least two occasions of Matthews shaking Caitlyn to quieten her.

Defence counsel Garry Collin said at the time of the assaults Matthews and his partner were in financial difficulty, and he was not getting many hours sleep between working and looking after the baby.

The Plunket nurse who was attending the baby said Matthews was a caring and concerned father, slightly naive and inexperienced with children. He had some emotional detachment, some anger and frustration and a short fuse.

Miss Hanifin said that she had "no problems" that Matthews would be a good father to their son.

"I trust him very much with our child. All I can say is he is doing his time. I am looking forward to me and him being a family and him to sort out everything he has to," she said.

"Even if he is living with me or not, I will help him to bond with our son. I trust him and I feel comfortable with him."

NZPA WGT mgr kn